Somalia / Ethiopia border earthquake (03/08/2011) : much stronger than initially reported

Earthquake overview :  A potentially dangerous earthquake has hit on the border of Ethiopia and Somalia, early this morning. The earthquake would have been very much felt in the city of Boorama and villages nearby.

Update 04/08 - 10:27 UTC : Various aftershocks have been hitting the same area since the mainshock in the night of August 3. Here are some of them (All times in UTC ) :
2011-08-04   06:38:07     3.2     Somalia Border
2011-08-03   11:13:03     3.4     Somalia Border
2011-08-03   03:50:00     4.2     Somalia Border
2011-08-02   23:30:46     3.4     Somalia border

Update 04/08 - 10:16 UTC : The Somali Suna Times wrote yesterday :

"Reports from the area suggest that frustrated locals have been until in the morning camping outside their homes in fear of another quake in the area of Somaliland and Awdal State.Somaliland authorities have not yet commented on the quake that has hit part of Somaliland."

Important Update 04/08 - 08:41 UTC : OGA (Observatoire Geophysique Arta), Djibouti, a very reliable seismological agency, has revealed that the earthquake here reported as a 4.6 magnitude (data USGS, afterwards followed by EMSC and GFZ) , was in fact  a Ml 6.1 magnitude earthquake. The focal point was calculated as 15 km below the surface. The epicenter was approx. 6 km north-west of Boorama (Somalia) according to OGA.

Map courtesy OGA, Djibouti


Boorama (Borama), Somalia - Panoramio picture courtesy Awaale -

I HAVE FELT IT reports

Jijiga, Ethiopia : Felt the earthquake here in Jijiga. Enough to get me straight out of bed and to the front door. Noteveryone felt it since it was in the middle of the night, but it woke many. Moderate shaking MMI V indicated.
Hargeisa, Somalia : I was awake and the rest of the family were a sleep when at about 2.27AM the whole building shook. household items and buildings were shaking for about 25 sec. everyone ran to the streets in the city. Moderate shaking indicated (MMI V)

Borama, Somalia : It was a strong earthquake. It happened while people were sleeping. All over sedan the shaking walls and roofs of the house wake us up in a strongly. It was a horrific shocking experience. (Strong shaking MMI VI indicated).

Djibouti, Djibouti : Enough shaking to wake me up out of a sound sleep.  Not enough for me to think it was an earthquake.  I went back to sleep and forgot about it until we started talking about it a work. (Light shaking MMI IV indicated).

Hargeisa, Somalia : OMG i neva hear,seem and felt earthquake in my life it was so creepy and so horrible.
i was in my room when earthquake happening my bed was shaking so much more and its midnight am getting scaring and go out the house.

UPDATE 08:50 UTC : GFZ has revised his earthquake data and has come out with new numbers who are in line with both USGS and EMSC : Magnitude : 4.6 at a depth of 10 km

UPDATE: A potentially dangerous earthquake has hit on the border of Ethiopia and Somalia, early this morning. The earthquake would have been very much felt in the city of Borama and villages nearby.

The USGS has its epicenter directly under Borama.

The huge difference in the estimates of GFZ and USGS show the deficiency of adequate seismological stations in this area of the world (similar to our PNG article).

There are no volcanoes in the immediate vicinity according to CATDAT, so this is most likely a tectonic earthquake in the East Africa rift zone.

A number of earthquakes have occurred in this region previously in 1930, 1951, 1961 and 1980.

We kindly ask people who felt this earthquake to share their information with (form below).

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.5 (GFZ), 4.6 (USGS)
UTC Time : 23:24:36.7 UTC, Tuesday 2nd August
Local time at epicenter :  2:24:36 LT, Wednesday 3rd August.
Depth (Hypocenter) : 5km (GFZ) 42.81°E   10.12°N ; 15km (USGS) 43.102°E, 9.870°N
Geo-location(s) :

Links to important maps
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
3-dimensional view of the earthquake area (GFZ epicenter location)

QuakeSOS+ and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news.
The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται – Yo lo siento – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه


  1. CORRECTION: I meant
    I was just a few hundred meters away from her.

  2. From Dire Dawa, the second largest city of Ethiopia.

    A female friend of mine in Dire Dawa who had been awake at the time told me in the morning she felt a vibration big enough to frighten her ‘around 3 am’, thus stayed awake for several hours contemplating what to do if it happens again - an account I considered a hallucination until I saw the report from USGS a few hours ago. Though I am currently in the same city, just a few hundred Kilometers away from her and awake at that time, I didn’t notice anything. Perhaps, our difference experience may be attributed to the fact that she lives at the top floor of a one story building and was sitting at the time in the living room, with several decoration items attached to the wall which would be responsive to vibrations. A few more individuals corroborated the vibrations, though I am unable to inquire them in detail(their location, its strength, etc.) at this time - which is mid-night.